Past award winners

Deakin alumni have a long history of achieving remarkable things

Our past winners demonstrate excellence in their chosen field and have contributed to the University and their communities, both locally and globally.

2024 winners

Alumni Excellence Awards

Antoinette Braybrook AM

Bachelor of Laws, 2000
Faculty of Business and Law

Antoinette is the CEO of Djirra, an organisation providing holistic and specialist legal and extended support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who experience family violence.

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Fiona Campbell

Bachelor of Commerce, 1991
Faculty of Business and Law

Fiona is a highly regarded technical audit specialist as Oceania Audit Partner at EY. She has contributed greatly to student engagement at Deakin and has been recognised for the development and retention of women in the industry.

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Lesley Harvey

Master of Child Play Therapy, 2020
Faculty of Health

Lesley delivers play therapy through the Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern Section, to provide mental health services to children and families.

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Sheree Marris

Bachelor of Science (Aquatic Science), 1997
Faculty of Health

Sheree is an award-winning author, documentary maker and an exceptional environmental communicator. In 2002, Sheree established her own communications consulting business, Visions of Blue.

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Dr James Mullins

PhD, 2009; Bachelor of Engineering, 2003
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment

James is a third-generation volunteer fire-fighter and the Chief Technology Officer and Founding Researcher at FLAIM Systems.

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Young Alumni Excellence Awards

Rhydian Cowley

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Commerce, 2015
Faculty of Business and Law, Faculty of Arts

Rhydian is an Olympic racewalker and environmental ambassador. He has a strong connection to land and is an environmental activist working at Bush Heritage Australia.

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Rabbi Gabi Kaltmann

Master of Social Work, 2019
Faculty of Health

Gabi is a senior Rabbi at the Ark Centre, a dynamic community centre and synagogue located in Hawthorn East. He is an active member of community organisations and sits on not-for-profit advisory and government boards.

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James Murphy

Bachelor of Commerce, 2017
Faculty of Business and Law

James runs Sea All Dolphin Swims in Queenscliff and founded Southern Ocean Environmental Link which has been awarded Green Travel Leader status by Eco-Tourism Australia.

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Sandeep Namburu

Master of Business Administration (International), 2018
Faculty of Business and Law

Sandeep is the founder of the renowned brand consulting firm Magsmen in India and a certified image consultant. He is an enrolled advocate at the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and holds a seat on the jury for the MMA Global Awards.

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Alexandra Viney

Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science, 2019
Faculty of Health

Al is an athlete, strength and conditioning coach and ambassador. She represented Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, finishing fourth in the mixed coxed four competition.

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2023 winners

Serdar Baycan

Alumni of the Year Award 
Bachelor of Architecture, 1986
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment

Serdar is a Director, entrepreneur, and lead architect on major projects on Earth, and harnessing power from space with Solar Space Technologies.

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Dr David Newman

Alumni of the Year Award
Master of Business Administration, 2013
Faculty of Business and Law

David’s service to aerospace medicine as a researcher, educator, and flight safety advocate spans 30 years.

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Professor Roianne West

Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor of Nursing from Deakin’s Institute of Koorie Education (now NIKERI), 2001
Faculty of Health

Roianne was Australia's first Nursing Director in a tertiary hospital with a dedicated portfolio of Indigenous Health, and the country’s first Professor of Indigenous Health.

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Daniel Wordsworth

Alumni of the Year Award
Master of International and Community Development, 2001
Faculty of Arts and Education

Daniel has established and mentored community development and emergency responses in most of the world's conflict zones. He has led humanitarian support on a global scale.

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Abrar Aziz

Young Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor of Electrics and Electronics Engineering, 2017
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment

Abrar leads a sustainable energy team, and this includes providing pro-bono work for vulnerable communities. He generously volunteers his time to support his industry and students.

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Eva Mackinley

Young Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor of International Studies/Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Diploma of Arabic
Faculty of Arts and Education

Eva has helped significantly reduce single-use plastics in Australia, which has become an international campaign. She’s served as Director and board member of several charitable and community organisations.

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Sophie McNamara

Young Alumni of the Year Award
Master of Business Administration, 2019
Faculty of Business and Law

Sophie is an experienced lawyer and Director with a passion for sustainable responsible practices and pro-bono programs.

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2021 winners

Aamir Qutub

Young Alumni of the Year Award
Master of Business Administration (International), 2014
Faculty of Business and Law

Aamir Qutub is the CEO and Founder of Geelong-based company Enterprise Monkey, a multinational digital organisation. Aamir is also an investor and co-founder of eight other startups in Australia. In 2017 he was appointed as a member of the Geelong Authority by the Minister of Planning.

Aamir has also helped develop the Entrepreneurs Geelong Network - a group of around 200 entrepreneurs and was the founding Secretary of Pivot Summit - Australia's largest regional tech conference.

Aamir’s empathy and desire to help others throughout the recent COVID-19 lockdowns and bushfire crisis inspired him to create Angel Next Door - an online platform that empowers people to assist others in their local community, providing groceries, medicine, or emotional support.

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Tanya Dontas

Young Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Commerce, 2016
Faculty of Arts and Education

Tanya Dontas is Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of Vollie, an online marketplace and social enterprise that connects skilled people to not-for-profit organisations for skills-based online volunteering.

Vollie projects are exclusively online, meaning that people can donate their time, skills, and experience from anywhere in the world, and around their busy personal and professional schedules. Vollie is unlocking millions of dollars in volunteer value to not-for-profit’s and allowing a new generation to make a change - their way.

When Vollie was in its early stages, they participated in SPARK Deakin’s Accelerator program, where they received mentorship and funding to help them get started. Tanya is now giving back to this program by volunteering as a mentor for a new generation of start-up founders, sharing her learning and knowledge.

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Dr Matthew Dingle

Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor of Engineering (Manufacturing), 1998; Doctor of Philosophy, 2002
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment

Dr Matthew Dingle worked as a Lead Engineer at Ford’s Product Development Facility in Geelong during the 1990s and completed his PhD at Deakin University in collaboration with Ford Stamping Operations in 2001.

Matt is a leader of innovation in building technology. Through his business FormFlow, the team developed the C90 FormFlow Bend - a world-first invention enabling sharp bends to be created in corrugated iron. The bend technology revolutionises the design and construction industry by delivering smooth transitions between corrugated sheet sections at a range of angles. Matt and the FormFlow team have partnered with Deakin to develop affordable shelters for Homeless people and Disaster relief, collaborating with Deakin students and staff.

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Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM

Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor of Arts in Education, 1989; Bachelor of Education, 1993; Master of Education (Integration), 1999
Faculty of Arts and Education

Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM of the Ngan'gityemerri language group is an Aboriginal elder from Nauiyu and a renowned artist, activist, writer, and public speaker. Miriam-Rose was the Northern Territory's first fully qualified Indigenous teacher and has visited schools throughout the Top End to advocate for art to be taught as part of every child's education.

Among her many initiatives and achievements, she also established the Miriam-Rose Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that empowers Indigenous youth through education, art, culture, and access to opportunity. Miriam-Rose has dedicated her life to creating bright and fulfilling futures for First Nations children, maintaining the cultural independence of her people. In 2021, Miriam-Rose was named Senior Australian of the Year.

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Kate Palmer AM

Alumni of the Year Award
Graduate Diploma of Sport Management, 1999; Master of Sport Management, 2000
Faculty of Business and Law

Kate Palmer AM is one of Australia’s most experienced and highly regarded sports executives. Currently serving as CEO of OneAthletics, Kate has been a leading figure in netball and Australian sport and was the first woman to head Sport Australia as Chief Executive Officer.

Through her leadership, Kate has driven governance reform among national sports organisations and has implemented safeguards to protect children in sporting environments.

Over her ten years as Chief Executive Officer at Netball Australia, Kate maintained the game’s status as the highest participation sport for women and oversaw the introduction of its national league, Super Netball.

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Louise Adams

Alumni of the Year Award
Graduate Diploma of Development Studies, 2005
Faculty of Arts and Education

Louise Adams is a Chartered Civil Engineer and has over 20 years of experience managing and designing work for civil and multidisciplinary land development projects, as well as technical advisory for project planning.

Louise first began work with Aurecon in 2000 as a graduate civil engineer and has worked her way up to become the first female Executive Director on Aurecon's Board. With a background in stormwater management, flood risk assessment and mitigation, Louise has undertaken work in the public and private sectors and has played a part in emergency relief efforts.

With her experience as a Chartered Civil Engineer, Louise has now stepped up as Aurecon's Group Chief Operations Officer and continues to passionately advocate for female leadership and equality within STEM. Louise was recognised as CEO of the Year in 2020 by CEO Magazine.

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Dr Glenn Laverack

Alumni of the Year Award
Doctor of Philosophy, 2000
Faculty of Health

Dr Glenn Laverack is an international leader in health promotion and empowerment and has held a distinguished career as an academic and independent adviser for the United Nations, government, and development agencies for 35 years in over 50 countries.

Glenn has a wide range of professional publications, including 24 books published in several languages, such as Chinese, Arabic, and Italian. With his range of experience in cross-cultural settings, Glenn facilitates broad insights at both the practical and theoretical level. Glenn is committed to working with others to find solutions to the practical application of community-centred approaches.

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2020 winners

Justine Flynn – Co-founder and Brand Director, Thankyou

Young Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor of Management, 2014

Justine Flynn is Co-founder and Brand Director of Thankyou, a social enterprise that commits 100% profit to helping others in need.

Thankyou started with a vision to redistribute wealth from consumer spending to help the most vulnerable in the world. They began by selling bottled water and now the range has grown to over 55 products including hand wash and sanitiser.

The Thankyou consumer movement has raised over 17 million dollars to get safe water, toilets, and child and maternal health programs to people in need.

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Uppma Virdi – CEO, Chai Walli

Young Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws, 2013

Uppma Virdi built her company Chai Walli in Australia from the ground up, a tea business focused on bringing the most authentic Indian Ayurvedic teas to the world.

She became an accidental entrepreneur while she was working as a commercial lawyer, when her side hustle became bigger than she’d ever imagined. This prompted Uppma to take the leap from corporate lawyer to grow her business and educate people about chai through workshops, educational services, and social media. She is passionate about equality and diversity.

Her company, Chai Walli has won many awards for their masala chai and tea range.

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Saifuddin Bin Ahmad – Director, SNO Architects

Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor of Architecture, 1983

Saifuddin Bin Ahmad is an outstanding architect and firm Director of SNO Architects based in Malaysia. He has over 30 years of experience and is a leader in innovation and environmentally sustainable buildings with energy efficient designs.

He has held positions on Boards including the esteemed position of President of the Malaysian Institute of Architects and has supported education in both Malaysia and Australia.

Saifuddin was also the Chairman of the Green Building Index and designed the ‘Low Energy Office Building’, which was designated by the Ministry of Green Technology and Water as a showcase for sustainable buildings.

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Megan Gilmour – Founder and CEO, Robots4Good and Missing School

Alumni of the Year Award
Master of International and Community Development, 2013

Megan Gilmour is the Co-founder and CEO of Robots4Good, and the Co-founder and CEO of internationally recognised not-for-profit MissingSchool.

Megan is a social innovator, change-maker, entrepreneur and champion for a solution to an overlooked social problem.

After her own son was seriously ill, she saw first-hand that children with serious illness were being left out of classroom life and isolated when they could not attend school.

She empowers these children through her organisation that places robots in schools, so they can have a presence in the classroom and are included. Through research and practice, she advocates for change for these children and informs the efforts of educators, health providers, and governments.

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Amenthi Jasinghe – Humanitarian Aid Leader

Alumni of the Year Award
Graduate Certificate of Humanitarian Leadership, 2015

A humanitarian aid worker who has headed World Vision Sri Lanka's Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs team, Amenthi Jasinghe has worked with World Vision in Mozambique, Nepal and South Sudan, Plan International in Sri Lanka, and Motivation Charitable Trust, based out of the UK.

She is now a consultant with extensive international development and humanitarian program experience, specialising in disaster management and grant acquisitions.

Amenthi is a graduate of Deakin’s Humanitarian Leadership Program.

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Dr Ben Hindson and the 10x Genomics Deakin Alumni team

Alumni of the Year Award

Dr Ben Hindson
Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, 10x Genomics
Bachelor of Science (Chemical Science) (Honours) 1998, PhD 2005

Dr Joshua Delaney
Bachelor of Forensic Science 2010, PhD 2014

Dr Chris Hindson
Bachelor of Science (Chemical Science) (Honours) 2007, PhD 2013

Dr Adam Lowe
Bachelor of Science (Chemical Science) (Honours) 2006, PhD 2011

Dr Geoff McDermott
Bachelor of Forensic Science 2008, PhD 2012

Dr Jessica Terry
Bachelor of Forensic Science 2009, PhD 2012

Their story of entrepreneurial success in science starts with Dr Ben Hindson, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of an early-stage biotech company in California called 10x Genomics. In eight years, the company has grown to over 700 employees including five other Deakin PhD graduates and we have recognised all their contributions with this team award.

10x Genomics has been listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market and their team share the vision of addressing the true complexities of biology and disease.

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2019 winners

Leigh Sales AM – Journalist and Host,  Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award
Master of Arts (International Relations), 2001

One of Australia’s most respected and influential journalists, Leigh Sales combines her deep curiosity about the world with formidable interviewing and analytical skills.

Since joining the ABC in 1995, Leigh has held many senior positions within Australia’s public broadcaster, including her role as national security correspondent and as co-host of its national current affairs program, Lateline.

After postgraduate studies as an online student at Deakin in international relations, Leigh was the ABC’s Washington correspondent from 2001 to 2005 and won a prestigious Walkley Award in 2005 for her reporting on Guantanamo Bay. She was also nominated for a Walkley Award for her frontline coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

In 2011 Leigh was announced as host of 7.30, ABC TV’s flagship national news and current affairs program. Her widely praised style in interviews with people from all walks of life comes in part, she says, from asking the questions she thinks someone watching at home would most want to hear.

Despite her daily deadlines, Leigh is also a podcaster and the author of three acclaimed books. Her most recent book, Any Ordinary Day (Penguin, 2019), explores the resilience people discover in the wake of life-changing tragedies.

A champion of freedom of the press and public engagement in politics, Leigh was this year awarded an Order of Australia for services to broadcasting.

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Karen Stocks – Director of Global Measurement, Google

Alumni of the Year Award
Master of Business Administration, 2008

Karen Stocks has forged a stellar career in the fast evolving world of media technology, with more than 20 years’ experience in a number of highly influential roles.

Karen embarked on her career in the media, technology and telecommunications sphere at Vodafone, where the Bachelor of Financial Accounting graduate and CPA spent 12 years rising to general manager of service strategy.

She joined Google first in 2007, moving through the ranks of the tech giant across a diverse range of roles, including online sales and operations manager, head of media solutions, YouTube and display, and director of products and solutions.

Drawing on her MBA from Deakin, in 2013 Karen was appointed the first managing director of Twitter’s Australian operations, establishing and building the social media platform’s business here. Under her leadership, the Australian market was Twitter’s fastest growth sector.

With deep expertise across media monetisation and customer experience in a fluid media landscape, in 2017 Karen moved to Google as director of global measurement.

Karen was the 2014 Patron for Go Girl, a yearly initiative supported by Deakin to encourage more young women to consider studying business and IT. She was an ambassador for the World Netball Cup in 2015 and now sits on the Board of Netball Australia and the Board of Confident Girls. Karen is a member of Chief Executive Women.

In 2016 Karen was runner-up in the CEO Magazine Managing Director of the Year Awards and, since 2015, has been included in the annual B&T Magazine’s Most Influential Women in Australian Media.

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Khyber Alam – Academic and optometrist

Young Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor of Vision Science/Master of Optometry, 2016

Khyber was 13 when, with his parents and eight siblings, fled the atrocities and hardship of Afghanistan. Traumatised and deeply shy, the teenage refugee didn’t speak a word of English when the family arrived in Melbourne in 2007. But inspired by his hard working parents, Khyber became fluent in his adopted language and went on to become school captain in his final year.

His childhood experiences have made Khyber determined to help others. With two of his grandparents in Afghanistan suffering untreated vision problems, he was drawn to optometry for its ability to transform lives. As well as working as an academic and clinician, and following his undergraduate and masters studies at Deakin, Khyber is now undertaking a PhD in the School of Medicine on vision impairment.

Khyber has been a volunteer optometrist in rural clinics in Australia, Bangladesh and India, and has raised more than $75,000 for various charities. Using his own savings, he’s also opened an orphanage in eastern Afghanistan. Khyber hopes this orphanage, which he named ‘House of Knowledge’ to reflect its aim of encouraging children towards learning, will be the first of many across the devastated country.

Khyber remains extremely modest about his achievements and says it is his parents Sharifa Alam and Sher Alam, along with Deakin mentors such as Professor Alex Gentle, Dr Heather Connor, Professor Sharon Bentley, A/Prof James Armitage and Jac Kirman, who deserve the credit.

Dr Georgia Birch – Cross-cultural consultant and researcher, Department of Education

Alumni Community Service Award
Doctor of Philosophy, 2013

Building rich connections between diverse communities is at the heart of Dr Georgia Birch’s work.

Since first volunteering at a mental health program for Somali women in her own neighbourhood Georgia has spent a decade as a cultural and mediation consultant, creating networks of trust and collaboration with African Australian communities.

Georgia is coordinator of the innovative African Liaison Program, which she established in a Melbourne school in 2016, with mentors helping African Australian families navigate the school system and keep their children in education. The pilot was so successful that, with state government support, 15 Victorian schools are now running the program, with many more keen to be involved.

A tireless advocate for marginalised people and refugees, Georgia recently devised a new cultural competency and anti-racism curriculum for the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. She advises the Victorian Education Department and is a driving force behind the annual African Youth Summit, bringing young African Australians together with local leaders, employers and sportspeople.

Georgia, who completed a PhD at Deakin, also works with groups seeking to encourage mainstream Victorian businesses to employ qualified African Australians.

Underpinning her work is the belief that engaging with other communities can be an enriching experience for all Australians.

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Mark Sullivan – Founder and managing director, Medicines Development for Global Health

Alumni Community Service Award
Bachelor of Science, 1989

Mark Sullivan is driven by his vision of eradicating the neglected diseases that bring misery and illness to at least a billion people worldwide.

As founder and managing director of Melbourne-based Medicines Development for Global Health (MDGH), Mark and his team are making history in the fight against river blindness, a highly infectious skin and eye disease caused by a parasitic worm. Around 20 million people in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from this devastating disease, which often causes permanent blindness. Another 200 million live at risk in affected areas.

Treatments for Tropical Neglected Diseases are rarely developed because of the lack of markets in lower income nations. Establishing MDGH in 2005 as a not-for-profit biopharmaceutical company is part of Mark’s goal of providing desperately needed drugs at little or no cost.

2018 saw MDGH win US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) approval for the use of moxidectin, the first new drug to tackle river blindness in 20 years. MDGH is the first Australian biopharmaceutical company to be granted US FDA approval.

Mark now plans to trial moxidectin against scabies, a debilitating skin disease affecting 70 percent of Indigenous Australian babies before they turn one.

Mark, who graduated from Deakin with a Bachelor of Science, was awarded Victorian Australian of the Year for his work.

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2018 winners

Karen Inge – Dietitian

Alumni of the Year
Bachelor of Science, 1981; Graduate Diploma of Dietetics, 1977
Director, Institute of Health and Fitness; Director, Zig Inge Group; Director, St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research (SVI) and Chair SVI Foundation; Director, Dineamic

Karen Inge is one of Australia’s most established and decorated leaders in the fields of nutrition and dietetics. She is an award-winning author of books on eating for health, fitness, sport and wellbeing.

Karen was the nutrition writer for the Australian Women’s Weekly for 17 years and has a weekly nutrition segment on 3AW, a role she has had for 16 years.

Her studies at Deakin University led her to become the first dietitian appointed to a VFL/AFL club, working with Collingwood from 1980–87, followed by Hawthorn for a further eight years during a period of incredible success for the club.

Having become an established authority in the field of sports nutrition, Karen was the founding Head of Nutrition at the Victorian Institute of Sport and advised athletes for 21 years. She also held a number of key positions with the Australian Ballet Company, the Australian Women’s Basketball Team (Opals), the Victorian Elite Gymnastics program, as well as the role of Nutrition and Dietetics Co-ordinator for the Commonwealth Games in 2006.

Karen became the inaugural Vice President and later President of Sports Dietitians Australia. She was the first dietitian to be made a Fellow of Sports Medicine Australia and an inaugural Fellow of Sports Dietitians Australia.

Karen also has a passion for culinary nutrition and has worked extensively with major food producers and the hospitality industry to consider nutrition quality as a priority. She is a Director of the healthy food company Dineamic, and recently opened the Georgie Bass Café and Cookery in Flinders, Victoria.

Karen is also a Director of St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research (SVI) and Chair of the SVI Foundation and an Ambassador for Fareshare, which is a food rescue organisation. She is also Chair of the Deakin University Food and Nutrition Advisory Board and has previously been an Ambassador for Vic Health, and a Director of the Coeliac Research Fund.

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Carley Mchome – Co-Founder, Director & Trustee – Ujamaa Children’s Home

Alumni Community Service Award
Bachelor of Contemporary Arts (Media Arts – Screen Studies), 2003

Having originally volunteered in Kenya via a large company, Carley recognised the inefficiencies that came with large operations. By the time she reached Tanzania in 2007, originally intending it to be just a one month stay, she saw an opportunity for smaller, independent organisations to have a real, tangible impact on the community.

Now 10 years later, and with only a handful of trips back home to Melbourne, Carley has been involved in the founding and management of a number of incredibly successful community projects, as well as directing award-winning short films about the stories of young people in Tanzania.

2008 saw Carley open the Ujamaa Hostel, a cost-effective and safe way for volunteers to stay within the local community. This was soon followed by her co-founding of Ujamaa Children’s Home, a residence for children who come from incredible hardship and disadvantage, with no option to return home to their families.

Under Carley's guidance, the philosophy of Ujamaa is to prepare children for the future by providing them with a new family environment, emotional support, the skills to look after themselves as independent adults, as well as an education from a primary to tertiary level.

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Celia Pacquola – Comedian, Writer, Actor

Young Alumni of the Year
Bachelor of Arts (Drama & Professional Writing), 2004

Celia Pacquola is a comedian, writer and actor who has achieved a remarkable amount of success since graduating from Deakin in 2004. Celia, who says she wasn’t really a funny kid, is now widely recognised across Australia and the UK, as a talent on stage, on screen and behind the camera as a writer and producer. Self-described as a bookish child, Celia felt she had found her tribe amongst the 'arty weirdo types' when she began studies at Deakin.

Celia has won numerous awards, including a 2016 AACTA for Best Supporting Actress in the contemporary Australian Anna Karenina adaptation, 'The Beautiful Lie', and Best Comedy Performance at the 2017 AACTA Awards for her role as Emma Dawes in 'Rosehaven', a series she co-created and co-writes with Luke McGregor. Together they won the 2017 AWGIE for Best Comedy Script – Situation or Narrative.

Celia is also a much-loved regular on Working Dog projects 'Utopia' and 'Have You Been Paying Attention?' and made her feature film debut this year in the widely-acclaimed 'The Breaker Upperers'.

Also in 2018, and hot on the heels of her third AACTA win and a third series announcement for 'Rosehaven', Celia returned to the stand-up stage with a brand new show, 'All Talk', for which she recently won Best Comedy Performer at the 2018 Helpmann Awards.

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Professor Jane den Hollander AO

Honorary Alumni Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Deakin Alumni Community
Former Vice-Chancellor and President, Deakin University

Professor Jane den Hollander AO was President and Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University Australia from July 2010 to June 2019.

At Deakin, Prof den Hollander introduced 'LIVE the future', an aspiration for Deakin to drive the digital frontier in higher education, harnessing the power, opportunity and reach of new and emerging technologies in all that it does.

Prof den Hollander holds a BSc (Honours) First Class in Zoology and a Master of Science degree from Wits University, Johannesburg. Her PhD is from the University of Wales, Cardiff.

Prof den Hollander is a Director of UniSuper Limited and Trustee, a member of the Premier's Jobs and Investment Panel and a member of the VERNet Board (Victorian Education and Research Network).

Prior to taking up her appointment as President and Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University, Prof den Hollander was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at Curtin University in Western Australia.

Prof den Hollander received an Order of Australia for her distinguished service to tertiary education in the 2017 Australia Day Honours awards.

Prof den Hollander has been a champion for Deakin’s Alumni Community and her continuing support has nurtured the program.

2017 winners

Dr David Parkin OAM

Lifetime Achievement Award
Media Commentator, ABC Radio National
Honorary Doctor of Letters, 2013
Trained Primary Teacher’s Certificate, 1963

David Parkin’s celebrated decades-long career in AFL spans extraordinary achievements on and off the field, as a player, coach, commentator and educator. In 1971 he captained the Hawthorn Football Club to their second premiership and then coached them to a flag in 1978. He coached Carlton Football Club to successive Premierships in 1981-82, and took them to a record-breaking number of victories in 1995, culminating in them becoming Premiers.

David’s professional experience includes President of the Australian Football Coaches Association (1994-2002); Executive Officer Australian Football Coaches Association (1989-90); Director of Football, Hawthorn Football Club (2001-2002) and President, Australian Football Coaches Association (Victorian Branch). He has been a commentator on ABC Radio, Radio 774 and Fox Sports. He was AFL All Australian Coach in 1995 and is a Member of the Hall of Fame at Hawthorn Football Club (2003), Carlton Football Club (2011) and the Australian Football Hall of Fame (2002).

David’s academic achievements include developing and lecturing in the Sports Coaching Degree course at Deakin University. He was awarded a Doctor of Letters in recognition of his contribution to Deakin University in the fields of coach and athlete education and his special contribution in the Australian Football League (AFL) and the wider coaching community. He has written more than a dozen books and numerous articles on sport and high performing business cultures.

Named in his honour, the annual Deakin University David Parkin Oration for Sport and Social Change honours David’s significant contribution to Australian society in leadership, sport and education and promotes the advancement of public knowledge by exploring the challenges and opportunities for sport to act as a driver of social change.

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Auntie Joan Vickery AO

Lifetime Achievement Award
Master of Public Health, 2004

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following video contains images and voices of a deceased person.

Auntie Joan Vickery is a Gunditjmara Elder originally from Portland, Western Victoria. She has been an Aboriginal health pioneer for over 40 years, having undertaken extensive work supporting rural communities and in diabetes research and support.

In 1975 Joan helped establish the Ngwala Willumbong Co-operative, providing rehabilitation support services to the Aboriginal community. The same year, Joan joined the Victorian Department of Health as one of the first Aboriginal Health Aides and was appointed to a working party pushing for policy change to improve Aboriginal health outcomes. As a result of the working party’s efforts, Health Aides were moved into hospitals and renamed Aboriginal Liaison Officers. In 1982, Joan became the first of these at St. Vincent’s Hospital.

While at St. Vincent’s, Joan developed the idea of special camps to raise awareness of diabetes, a personal cause for Joan. The camps proved a huge success, and Joan went on to found a dedicated Koori Diabetes Service. In 1990, Joan began working at the Melbourne-based International Diabetes Institute.

Joan completed a Master’s in Public Health at the Institute of Koorie Education at Deakin University in 2005. She has authored several papers and edited numerous books. Today her involvement with the health sector continues, as patron of Onemda, VicHealth’s Koori Health Unit at Melbourne University. She is also part of the University’s Aboriginal Action Plan, a board member of the Aboriginal Community Elders Services and sits as an Elder on the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Koori Court, a division of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.

In 2011, Joan received a National Elders Award from the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council for her contribution to higher education for the Victorian Aboriginal community. She was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2005.

Auntie Joan remains a great friend to the Institute of Koorie Education and Deakin University and is currently the Patron of the Institute of Koorie Education Advisory Board.

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Tracey Gaudry

Alumni of the Year
Board of Directors, Union Cycliste Internationale
Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Science, 1992

A former professional road cyclist, Tracey Gaudry has enjoyed a career steeped in achievement both on the road and in the boardroom. At the height of her cycling career she was ranked third in the world, competing at the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, and the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.

Tracey’s career in sports administration has been equally high-achieving, spanning leadership roles in national and international sporting organisations. Her most recent engagement as CEO of Hawthorn Football Club was a landmark in the cultural progression of Australian sport – a major appointment from outside the AFL industry and the first female chief executive of an AFL club.

Tracey is currently a Director and immediate past Vice President of the Union Cycliste Internationale – the world governing body for the sport of cycling, and a contributor to the International Olympic Committee on gender inclusion.

Tracey’s executive and non-executive experience has clearly seen her put her Deakin double degree in science and business to good use with previous roles including; General Manager at Athletics Australia (2015-2017), Chief Executive Officer at the Amy Gillett Foundation (2010-2015), Executive Member of the Australian Anti-Doping Review Panel (2010-2014), and Australian Institute of Sport Ethics Commission (2004-2010).

Tracey was instrumental in creating the world-first Nitro Athletics series, which transformed athletics into a team format and brought some of the world’s most exciting track and field athletes, including Usain Bolt, to Melbourne earlier this year. Tracey led the establishment of the UCI Women’s WorldTour in 2016, comprising 25 professional cycling events for women around the globe. Tracey’s role with the Amy Gillett Foundation has resulted in legislative change for cycling safety in five states over the past four years.

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Dean Landy

Young Alumni of the Year Award
Architect and Director
ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects, Architect Partner
Founder, One Heart Foundation
Bachelor of Arts (Architecture), 1998; Bachelor of Architecture, 2001

Since graduating from Deakin in 2001, Dean has gone on to carve out a unique ‘purpose driven’ career in architecture and urban design, as an author, and as a social entrepreneur.

As a partner at Melbourne-based firm ClarkeHopkinsClarke, Dean is responsible for the planning and design of many new towns around Australia, giving him a unique opportunity to help shape the places and environments in which future generations will live, work, learn and connect. His architectural repertoire spans large scale retail and commercial projects, multi-residential and mixed-use developments, and community infrastructure projects.

Dean’s passion and drive to improve the quality of people’s lives by creating stronger communities led him to write and publish his first book in 2016: Creating Vibrant Communities – a fresh approach to delivering healthy, sustainable and liveable communities. The book provides a valuable resource for developers, councils, government and community members alike to help create more people-focused outcomes in the communities they call home.

As a social entrepreneur, Dean is driven to make a difference in the communities of developing nations, and in particular in the lives of disadvantaged children.

In 2007 Dean founded One Heart Foundation – a ‘for-purpose’ organisation that is working to break the poverty cycle in Africa, and change the future of orphaned and abandoned children.

One Heart Foundation is currently the legal guardian of 75 vulnerable children and is developing child focused eco-villages, building and operating children’s homes, schools, skills training centres and farms. The organisation is dedicated to using education, leadership, empowerment and most importantly love, to transform the lives of individuals and whole communities.

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Dr Nicole Weber

Alumni Community Service Award
Doctor, University Hospital Geelong
Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery, 2014

Dr Nicole Weber was already a seasoned health professional when she commenced her studies in medicine at Deakin University. Her double degree in medicine and surgery, undertaken at Deakin’s Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus, was complemented by two previous Bachelor’s degrees (Science and Pharmaceutical Science), a Master of Pharmacy, and experience working as a registered hospital pharmacist. To say Nicole is passionate about health and helping people – would be an understatement.

In her first year of medical school Nicole travelled to Fiji to attend the Fiji Village Project with both local and NZ doctors. As a result of this experience, Nicole’s passion for medicine and the developing world culminated in a strong desire to initiate her own medical program in rural India through Deakin University.

In 2012, she founded the Global Village Project, a not-for-profit registered charity, acting as its president until 2016. The Global Village Project focuses on childhood immunisation and health education in the poverty stricken Indian state of Orissa. Deakin medical and allied health students have returned to the orphanage in the eastern highlands every year since the program’s inception to continue the immunisation program and educate the community on matters of sanitation, hydration and hygiene. All volunteers pay their own way, with all funds raised going entirely towards medical equipment, vaccines and toothbrushes.

Nicole is currently working as a GP registrar and has been based in Brisbane since January 2017. She is still strongly connected to the Global Village Project and currently working on expanding the program locally and abroad.

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2016 winners

Allan Frederick Willingham

Lifetime Achievement Award
Registered Architect, Architectural Historian,
Heritage Consultant and PhD Candidate
Diploma of Architecture, 1970

Allan’s commitment and impact on the fields of architecture and architectural history is evidenced by decades of award-winning projects, respected research and an extensive teaching career.

Allan has been responsible for the restoration and conservation of many of Victoria’s most loved architectural treasures, including Geelong Customs House (Royal Australian Institute of Architects Merit Award) and Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building, which has since been entered on the World Heritage Register.

His list of accolades include the Victorian Community History Award for the Camperdown Heritage Study, the RAIA National Lachlan Macquarie Award for the conservation of the Emerald Hill precinct in South Melbourne. Allan has also been recognised for his award-winning work for Deakin University as part of the McGlashan Everist team responsible for the conversion of the Geelong Woolstores Precinct.

Deakin University has also been privileged to have Allan lecture at its School of Architecture during its formative years at the Waurn Ponds campus.

In addition to his practical, educational and research experience, Allan has also acted as Director of an Australian Heritage Commission National Estate Project to document heritage sites in Victoria and was a long-serving member of the Historic Buildings Council (Victoria). He has also had the honour of being Fellow and past Vice President of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, as well as assuming a host of other notable positions in some of the country’s most revered architectural institutions, community groups and special interest societies — not to mention his years as a broadcaster on ABC Radio 774.

Allan’s lifelong contribution to architecture, building conservation and architectural history speaks volumes of his passion for these fields. Not only has he had one of the most illustrious careers of any architectural expert in the state of Victoria, in retirement he remains committed to promoting and documenting Australian architectural and cultural history, whilst also pursuing his interests in vintage cars, tennis history (PhD) and his beloved basketball team NBT (Not Bad Thanks).

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Magistrate Rosemary E Falla

Alumni of the Year Award
Magistrate’s Court of Victoria
Bachelor of Laws, 2002

In her years since graduating from Deakin, Rosemary has enjoyed a distinguished legal career, culminating in her appointment as Magistrate in 2013. Her work in the field of law, cultural preservation and community initiatives has seen her become one of the University’s most accomplished practitioners.

Following roles at the Residential Tenancies Tribunal and a number of other government and non-government agencies, Rosemary commenced her law degree at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Campus in Geelong. Whilst undertaking her law studies, Rosemary began working for the Koorie Heritage Trust.

Coming from western Victoria’s indigenous Wotjobaluk/Wemba Wemba people, Rosemary’s career has intersected with her cultural heritage a number of times, including her time working at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. These roles have seen her work on a number of projects and funding initiatives for Koorie organisations in Gippsland.

Following the completion of her law degree, Rosemary worked as a Legal Officer at the Department of Justice and was instrumental in the establishment of the first Koorie Courts in Victoria. Her career has since seen her progress from the Office of Public Prosecutions to become the Acting Deputy Directorate Manager of Complex Crime and associate to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Rosemary is the first Indigenous magistrate appointed in the state of Victoria and continues to serve her community as one of Deakin’s most successful and well-respected alumna.

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Rebecca J. Scott

Alumni Community Services Award
Master of International and Community Development, 2007

Rebecca is a science communicator who became a social entrepreneur when in 2008 she co-founded hospitality social enterprise STREAT. STREAT runs a portfolio of hospitality businesses that provide homeless and at-risk youth with life skills, real work and training, as well as a host of transferable skills to help them gain employment in other industries.

Since its humble beginning with one cart, three staff and nine homeless teens in 2010, the enterprise has grown to have five cafes, a catering company, a coffee roastery and an artisan bakery, and offers a suite of training courses as well as a creative arts program. It has delivered over 40,000 hours of training to 470 young people and served nearly 2 million customers.

STREAT was a finalist in the 2012 Cool Company Awards, won Most Innovative Australian Social Enterprise (2013) and Melbourne’s Business 3000 Award in the social enterprise category in the same year, was a finalist in the 2014 Ethical Enterprise Awards and won the 2015 Australian Social Enterprise Award.

Rebecca herself has also been recognised with awards and accolades throughout her career – in 2005 she was awarded the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship, a program to further develop young Australians who have demonstrated strong ethical leadership; in 2013 she won the David Clarke Scholarship for Outstanding Leadership in Social Change; and in 2016 she's been named Victoria’s Local Hero and is also Ernst & Young's Social Entrepreneur for the Year (for Victoria and Tasmania).

Preceding to her postgraduate studies at Deakin, Rebecca won a scholarship to Australian National University where she completed a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication. Prior to this she studied a Bachelor of Science at Newcastle University.

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Hideto Chijiwa

Young Alumni of the Year Awards
Architect, Sou Fujimoto Architects, Tokyo
Master of Architecture (Design)/Bachelor of Arts (Architecture), 2008

Since graduating from Deakin with a Master of Architecture in 2008, Hideto has carved out an award-winning career as an architect on the international stage, working in several global cities – Melbourne, Tokyo and Taipei – for two highly reputable and innovative firms, Cox Group (Australia) and Sou Fujimoto Architects (Japan).

During his time at Deakin, Hideto was remarked upon by students and staff members alike for his humble yet extraordinarily creative and innovative approach to design, one built on a foundation of deep philosophical rigour. For Hideto, the design and construction of buildings boils down to a human impulse – the people who will use the space are always his focus. He was a finalist in the 2008 Colorbond Steel Student Biennale representing Deakin for a design for ‘Der Bau: The Inkerman Street Collective Housing Project’, a proposal for a Social Housing Block in St Kilda.

Since his appointment to Sou Fujimoto Architects, Hideto has been responsible for strengthening the firm’s international project offerings. He assumed a leadership role for the firm’s entry in several high profile international competitions – Beton Hala Waterfront Centre, Taiwan Tower and House of Hungarian Music – all of which were awarded first prize.

Hideto is now based in both Budapest and Tokyo as the Project Architect of House of Hungarian Music, a new 10,000 square metre museum building in the city of Budapest, Hungary.

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Anand Doshi

Young Alumni of the Year Awards
Click Digital Studios India Pvt. Ltd., Avdhoota Farms
Bachelor of Film and Digital Media, 2011

Since graduating from Deakin in 2011, Anand has fast become one of the most successful and progressive leaders in the global entertainment space. As founder of Click Digital Studios, Anand is responsible for starting and growing a network of channels which now enjoy monthly worldwide viewership of 120 million and a subscriber base of two million dedicated viewers. His media network is among the highest revenue grossing on YouTube, has been recognised by Forbes Magazine and now employs more than 70 staff. Anand’s career in media production has also seen him produce episodic content for Viacom and, along with Monopoly Pictures, the multi award-winning film Happy Family Pvt Ltd.

Currently based in Mumbai, Anand has also turned his eye toward the future of sustainable produce. Following the establishment of his company Avdhoota Farms, Anand has overseen a growing network of farms producing organic vegetables. Anand’s goal of delivering healthy, organic produce to the people India has quickly become a reality.

Working to both feed and entertain the masses, Anand is unquestionably one of the most driven and successful recent graduates of Deakin University.

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2015 winners

Lieutenant General Ret. David Lindsay Morrison AO

Lifetime Achievement Award
Master of Arts (Strategic Studies), 2003

Lieutenant General David Morrison AO has served the Australian community with great distinction for nearly four decades. In his role, he came to public prominence when he took a stand against discrimination and demanded the values of an inclusive force. He told anyone not willing to work with women and accept them as equals; ‘There is no place for you amongst this band of brothers and sisters.’ His efforts have resulted in the most significant change to the Army's culture in its history.

In additional to Medals of Honour from the United States, Singapore and France, Morrison was also appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List of 2010 for distinguished service to the Australian Army in the fields of training and education, military strategic commitments and force structure and capability; in particular, as Commander Australian Defence College, Head Military Strategic Commitments and Deputy Chief of Army.

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Peter Niblett

Alumni of the Year Award

Peter is an Executive Director in Advisory Services at EY Australia, having returned from their London headquarters in 2006. In this role, he is responsible for service delivery, with a focus on strong engagement and relationship building with clients including Emergency Services, the Victorian Auditor-General's Office, Tasmanian Government, TAC and WorkSafe.

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Eva Kasim

Alumni Community Service Award
Master of Disability Studies 2000 and Graduate Diploma of Disability Studies 1999

Eva Kasim graduated with a Masters in Disability Studies from the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University in 2000.

During her studies at Deakin, Eva was the recipient of an Australian Development Award. Physically disabled since she was a teenager, Eva requires a wheelchair for her mobility over longer distances and can walk with crutches for shorter distances.

Since fighting for her rights as an undergraduate student at the University of Indonesia in the 1980s, Eva has shown her passion and leadership in the field of disability activism in her country, Indonesia, and also in the region more widely.

She has important roles in many disability organisations both in Indonesia and in the Asia Pacific region. She is a member of the national boards of various organisations representing the needs of those with disabilities, including current executive roles as in the Indonesian Federation of Physically Handicapped and of Rehabilitation International for Indonesia.

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Stella Young

Posthumous Alumni Community Service Award
Bachelor of Arts (Public Relations and Journalism) 2003

In 2012 Stella Young told ABC’s Geoff Hutchison: ‘If people are going to look at me, I’m going to have something to say.’ Stella challenged the social model of disability, which she explained as the idea that systemic barriers, negative attitudes, and exclusions by society are the main contributory factors in disabling people. Instead of just surviving with a diagnosis of Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which Stella described as ‘really dodgy bones’, she made the focus of her life’s work making people think about disability.

Stella rejected the idea that ‘the only disability in life is a bad attitude’ because ‘no amount of smiling at a flight of stairs has ever made it turn into a ramp.’ Her articles often challenged businesses and organisations where she could see the possibility for positive change, including increasing the number of ramps and disabled toilets in Melbourne. She refused to be your ‘inspiration porn.’ instead she demanded you question what you know about disability and value genuine achievement for disabled people. Stella was a feminist, advocate, atheist, supporter of equality and the National Disability Insurance Scheme, journalist and knitter.

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Andrew Conway

Young Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor Of Teaching (Secondary) and Bachelor Of Commerce 2002

A former Australian Government Treasury Ministry Chief of Staff, Andrew holds the record of being the youngest CEO of a public entity, when in 2009 at the age of 28 he was appointed CEO of the Institute of Public Accountants. Andrew has represented Australia at a range of International events including APEC, G20 and World Trade Organisation.

Andrew was awarded the 2011 Young Professional of the Year award, appointed an adjunct Professor of Accounting at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, and was appointed by the Victorian Governor as a Director of Eastern Health. In 2001 he was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal through the Order of Australia. Andrew is a Deakin alumnus with an academic background and qualifications in commerce, education and commercial law.

In November 2014, Andrew was announced as one of the AFR Boss Magazine's Young Executives of the Year. Still only 35, Andrew is actively involved with his young family and has just managed the merger with the UK’s Institute of Financial Accountants to form the world’s biggest SME focussed accounting body.

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Sophiya Uprety

Young Alumni of the Year Award
Bachelor Of Applied Science (Food Science and Nutrition) 2003

Sophiya is an inspiration and at 35-years-of-age she has already built an outstanding career in nutrition, health promotion and humanitarian aid.

Sophiya obtained her Deakin University qualifications funded by Australian Government Scholarships. After completing each degree, she returned to her home country to work for the United Nations (UN) agencies including UNICEF, UNHCR and UNWFP in the vital area of public health nutrition. There are very few qualified nutritionists working in Nepal and after the devastating earthquake in April 2015, her skills are more important than ever as she is part of the recovery mission. Through nine years of work experience, Sophiya has established herself as a recognised nutritionist at a national level and has been quoted in international media and journals regarding malnutrition in the country.

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2014 winners

John Stanhope AM

Lifetime Achievement Award

Deakin’s sixth Chancellor has had a long and valued relationship with his alma mater. A commerce graduate (1982) and former DUSA President, John has been a council member since 2012, is the Deputy Chair of Council's Investment Committee and a member of the Finance and Business Affairs Committee.

Learn more about John Stanhope AM

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Nino Ficca

Alumni of the Year Award

As one of the most respected names in the state's energy industry, Deakin alumnus and Harvard Business School graduate Nino Ficca has demonstrated a high level of excellence and keen drive to enable change throughout his prestigious career.

Learn more about Nino Ficca

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James Farrell OAM

Alumni Community Service Award

James Farrell OAM is an extraordinarily dedicated lawyer and passionate advocate for people experiencing poverty and disadvantage in our community.

A recipient of the 2014 Churchill Fellowship and member of the Alfred Deakin Research Institute, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community through social welfare and legal access programs.

Learn more about James Farrell OAM

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Madison Browne

Young Alumni of the Year Award

Madison Browne successfully juggled her goals to become a physical education teacher and professional netballer with the assistance of Deakin's Elite Athlete Program. She completed her Bachelor of Education with a distinction average, even when netball took her to Perth for a season.

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2013 winners

Lindsay Maxsted

Lifetime Achievement Award
Diploma of Business 1974 (GIT)
Chairman, Westpac Banking Corporation
Diploma of Business (GIT), 1974

Lindsay Maxsted is one of Australia's most respected and influential businessmen. He currently serves as Chairman of the Westpac Banking Corporation; Chairman of the Transurban Group; Director of BHP Billiton Limited and BHP Billiton Plc and Managing Director of Align Capital Pty Ltd. Lindsay is also Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Ahmad Wamiq Ghowsi

Young Alumni of the Year Awards
Deakin Sessional Academic, Deakin Graduate School of Business, Language, ONCALL Interpreters PTY LTD and Public Speaker
Master of Professional Accounting/Master of Business Administration (International), 2012

Ahmad Ghowsi sees community service as an important mission in his life. As a NAATI accredited interpreter with ONCALL interpreters, Ahmad works to provide vital communication and support programs for immigrants and refugees from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Amongst his many achievements, in 2013 Ahmad founded Toastmasters International at Herat University in Afghanistan and has recently been awarded the title Competent Communicator by Toastmasters International.

Ahmad is also a past President of the DGSB Student Society.

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Hannah MacDougall

Young Alumni of the Year Awards
Professional athlete, motivational speaker, athlete career and education advisor and PhD student
Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science, 2011; Bachelor of Commerce (Hons), 2012

Hannah Macdougall first gained prominence when she won a bronze medal in swimming at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games, for the Women's 4x100m medley. Hannah is a dual Paralympian, swimming at both the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. She is also a former world record holder and has captained the Australian Swimming Team at both the World Championships and Paralympic Games. Hannah is currently in training for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games in road cycling.

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Janet Dore

Alumni of the Year Award
CEO, Transport Accident Commission Victoria
Master of Business Administration, 1985; Graduate Certificate of Management (Personal Injury), 2011

Janet began her career in local government, in her current role as CEO of Victoria's Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Janet Dore quite literally, saves lives.  Most recently, Janet became a member of the Expert Advisory Panel on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  Janet is currently an advisory board member for Deakin's personal injury management course.

Learn more about Janet Dore

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2012 winners

Richard Colman OAM

Young Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his outstanding sporting achievements particularly in wheelchair athletics

Richard Colman is an OAM recipient and one of Australia's most successful male Paralympians.

Born in Norway, the Geelong-based athlete specialises in wheelchair track events and first represented Australia at the 2002 World Championships in France, where he competed in five events - an outstanding effort for his first international competition.

Learn more about Richard Colman OAM

Elliot Costello

Young Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to charitable causes

Elliot Costello is a Co-Founder and current CEO of YGAP which is a not-for-profit organisation based in Melbourne. YGAP is a vehicle for inspiring volunteers to participate in creative fundraising initiatives that supports community development projects across Australia, Africa and Asia. He is currently responsible for the management of over 280 volunteers worldwide.

Hannah Gentile

Young Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of her outstanding contribution to community health programs particularly in Australian indigenous communities

Hannah Gentile works as an Early Childcare and Development Facilitator (Nutrition) with World Vision Australia undertaking challenging yet vital humanitarian work with isolated aboriginal communities in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia, specialising in early childhood development and paediatric nutrition.

Learn more about Hannah Gentile

Muhammad Aulia Hanan

Young Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to education, the humanitarian effort and reconstruction of Aceh

As an inspirational member of Deakin's Aceh Alumni Chapter, Muhammad Aulia Hanan is part of a team of Deakin MTESOL and Master of Education graduates from Aceh Indonesia, who are working as part of a partnership between Deakin University and the Indonesian Government to help rebuild the tsunami-shattered Aceh Province, by providing community development programs for teachers and students from disadvantaged backgrounds. He was also involved actively in the establishment of the Deakin Aceh Alumni Chapter.

Since completing his MTESOL and returning to his homeland, Mr Hanan has displayed outstanding leadership and dedication in the rebuilding efforts (despite losing his own home in the disaster), of the badly affected educational sector of Aceh, where over 3000 educators lost their lives in the disaster.

Mr Hanan has also been called upon in recent years by his local Aceh Government and World Vision International to provide strategic advice, guidance and leadership within the local education system, where as a result he has taken on the management of various strategic planning and financial resource acquisitions and quality control of many capacity building projects in conjunction with key stakeholders. As part of this, he also provides electoral system and voter rights education classes for local community members via the International Foundation for Electoral Systems.

Kate Hills

Young Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of her outstanding contributions to charitable causes

Through her volunteer work, Kate Hills has demonstrated an unwavering and selfless commitment in working with the disadvantaged in our community over the last decade.

Miss Hills has worked with many charitable organisations including: Salvation Army, Oaktree Foundation, Make Poverty History Campaign, Burnett Institute, Reality NGO (Mumbai, India), Brotherhood of St Laurence, Go for your Life program and the Cancer Council of Victoria. She has also performed volunteer work with orphanages and schools in Thailand and Kenya and worked for the AusAid Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development program as a Community Health Education Officer in Indonesia. She worked closely with newly arrived communities during her role as a Health Promotion Officer in Melbourne's west and is also an English tutor to refugees with the Adult Multicultural Education Service.

Learn more about Kate Hills

George Jose

Young Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Deakin Graduate School of Business

Over the past 4 years George Jose has been an active and vital contributor to Deakin University. Elected Deakin Graduate School of Business (DGSB) President from 2009-10, he is credited by the School, for helping to reinvigorate staff, student and industry engagement. He has also been a member of the Faculty's postgraduate mentoring program, a Toastmaster, Captain of the Deakin Soccer Team (Division C) and Facilitator of DGSB Industry Student Seminar Series and a guest speaker at numerous Faculty events.

Marin Burela

Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his outstanding leadership and management in the automotive industry

Marin Burela is currently the President and CEO of Ford Motor Company's China joint venture, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co. Ltd.

As former President and CEO of Ford Australia from 2008-2010, Mr Burela was responsible for driving the success of Ford Australia's operations, while continuing the implementation of the company's Global One Ford Plan. In recognition of his valuable contribution to Ford he was elected a Corporate Vice President and Company Officer by the Ford Board of Directors in 2012.

Learn more about Marin Burela

Tony Ellwood

Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his outstanding leadership and contributions to the arts in Australia

Mr Tony Ellwood has forged an outstanding career as a leader in the arts in Australia, culminating in his recent appointment as Director of the National Gallery of Victoria in July 2012.

He was previously Director the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) from 2007-2012 and under Mr Ellwood's leadership, QAG became the nation's most visited art gallery, eclipsing NGV, which had long held the title by achieving over 1.8 million visitors a year. He was also responsible for initiating and securing nearly $10 million in sponsorship for the organisation.

Learn more about Tony Ellwood

Ben Graham

Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his outstanding sporting achievements particularly in the AFL and NFL codes

Ben Graham is one of Australia's best known and successful sportspeople across two football codes, where he was a former Geelong Football Club great in the AFL and now as a Punter in the NFL with the Detroit Lions.

Learn more about Ben Graham

Christopher Kelly

Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his long-standing and distinguished leadership, contribution and service to Deakin University and the higher education sector

Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law since 2005, Mr Christopher Kelly is one of the longest serving academic members of staff in Deakin's history, with a career spanning 42 years.

David McAllister AM

Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his distinguished leadership and achievement in the arts, particularly in ballet and for his philanthropic support of Deakin University, particularly in the area of student scholarships

Australian Ballet Director David McAllister has forged a reputation as Australia's most distinguished ballet artists and administrators over a career now spanning thirty years.

As a graduate of The Australian Ballet School, Mr McAllister went on to join The Australian Ballet in 1983, eventually becoming its Principal Artist in 1989. His many principal roles with the company included: Onegin, Romeo and Juliet, La Fille mal gardée, The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, The Sentimental Bloke, Coppélia, Manon, La Sylphide, Sinfonietta and Stepping Stones.

Learn more about David McAllister AM

2011 winners

Briony Cole

Young Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of her exceptional sporting achievements particularly in diving

Named Australian Diver of the Year in 2007, Briony Cole is one of Australia's most successful diving athletes, teaming with Melissa Wu to achieve Australia's best ever result in synchronised diving by taking out a silver medal in the 10 metre synchronised platform at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She later won silver in the 3m synchronised diving and a bronze medal in the 10m synchronised diving at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi.

Benjamin Hayward

Young Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his outstanding commitment to research and teaching in the School of Law

Mr Hayward won the Faculty of Business and Law's Early Career Teacher Award in 2010 and is a rising academic star at Deakin.

An Associate Lecturer with Deakin's School of Law since 2008, Benjamin Hayward teaches a number of undergraduate and postgraduate units and is a Unit Chair in a number of these subjects.

Dr Alex Bremner

Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his distinguished contribution to education and research in architectural history

Dr Alex Bremner is currently a Senior Lecturer in Architecture with the University of Edinburgh and is internationally regarded for his research in architectural history.

Dr Bremner was one of the first Australians to win a Gates Scholarship and go on and complete his doctorate at the University of Cambridge in 2004, where he read for a PhD in the history and theory of Victorian architecture.

Dr Eóin Killackey

Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his distinguished contribution to research particularly in the field of mental health

Since graduating from Deakin, Dr Eóin Killackey has become an Australian pioneer in the development of treatments for first episode psychosis particularly among adolescents.

Dr Killackey has had published over 40 articles and is a reviewer for many esteemed psychology journals and has worked with various Grant Councils. He has obtained over $12 million in research funding and has served on various Victorian Government Advisory Committees relating to mental health at the request of the Victorian Minister for Mental Health. He established the International First Episode Vocational Recovery Group and currently sits on the SuperFriend Steering and the Mind Steering Committees.

Mukund Narayanamurti

Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his outstanding work in furthering the development of the Deakin University Alumni Community

Mukund Narayanamurti is a Chartered Accountant and currently Director, Asia Business Group at KPMG Australia. He specialises in market entry advisory services, focused on corporate investment activity between Australia and Asia.  In addition to his Deakin qualifications, Mr Narayanamurti has completed a Master's in International Tax at the University of Melbourne and an Executive Education program in tax policy at the Kennedy School, Harvard.

An award-winning Deakin student and former lecturer, Mr Narayanamurti was one of the founders of the Deakin Commerce Alumni Chapter in 2007 and served as its first President from 2007-08. Since this time his work and guidance has been instrumental in this Chapter becoming the largest and most active in Deakin's history. Extremely passionate about community development, his expert advice is often sought at all levels at Deakin and particularly on matters relating to the university's engagement with India and the Asian region.

Mr Narayanamurti also displays strong commitment to charitable causes and is currently Program Director for the Hope Scholars (Commercial Partnerships) Program for the Nexus Foundation and Country Ambassador for India for the Lasallian Foundation.

Nazariah M Sahu Palar

Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of her distinguished services to education, the humanitarian effort, and the reconstruction of Aceh.

As inspirational leader of the Deakin's Aceh Alumni Chapter, Neza Palar oversees a large team of Deakin MTESOL and Master of Education graduates from Aceh Indonesia, who are working as part of a partnership between Deakin University and the Indonesian Government to help rebuild the tsunami-shattered Aceh Province, by providing community development programs for teachers and students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Dr Adam Tomison

Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to research and work towards the prevention of family violence and child abuse.

Director of the world-leading Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) in Canberra since 2009, Dr Adam Tomison has established himself as a widely published and internationally respected expert on the prevention of child abuse and other family violence over the last two decades.

Learn more about Dr Adam Tomison

Dr Geoffrey Wescott

Alumni of the Year Awards

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the protection and management of Australia's marine and coastal environments.

Dr Geoff Wescott is an Associate Professor of Environment at the Melbourne Burwood Campus of Deakin University and has made a substantive and long-term contribution to the protection and management of Victoria's coastal environments over the last 30 years.

Learn more about Dr Geoff Wescott

Connect with us

Stay in touch with us to hear about the latest alumni opportunities, Deakin news and research and much more. You can email the Alumni Engagement team or connect with us on LinkedIn or Facebook.